The Tudor Black Bay 54 shrinks to the original 37mm caseFergus Nash
- The new Tudor Black Bay 54 takes its inspiration from the 1954 reference 7922.
- Its 37mm case offers a great gender netural option for accurate vintage vibes.
- The steel bracelet is fitted with Tudor’s T-fit clasp.
For thousands of watch collectors, the introduction of the Black Bay 58 was a phenomenal release that turned even the most die-hard of Rolex fans into ardent Tudor followers. The more refined case with style-appropriate sizing finally felt like Tudor had found a home outside of it’s bigger brother’s shadow, and the 58 still commands a strong demand. This year’s Watches & Wonders sees the Swiss brand attempting, and likely succeeding, to repeat their recipe for success with the Tudor Black Bay 54.
69 years after the release of the reference 7922 Tudor Oyster Prince Submariner in 1954, the Tudor Black Bay puts proportions into perspective by shrinking their much-loved case to the same 37mm diameter as the original release. It’s by no means a direct replica, but it does offer the vintage spirit in their most comfortable diving case yet. This reduction also brings the lug-to-lug length down to a graceful 44mm, which should be a great gender neutral size for anyone who appreciates vintage watches.
Another subtle change between the Tudor Black Bay 54 and its predecessor the 58 is the aluminium bezel insert, which has been stripped of its gilt details, minute markers, and its red triangle at 12 o’clock to more accurately echo the design of the 1954 reference 7922. This has the effect of somewhat humbling the watch, embracing more of a utilitarian attitude rather than the soft warm glow that the 58 gives off. It also proves that the new Black Bay 54 is a new watch in its own right, rather than just a shrunk-down 58.
The dial is largely similar to the Black Bay 58 with necessary adjustments to the marker sizes, although the snowflake hand set is noticeably more slender and delicate. The movement is Tudor’s in-house calibre MT5400, complete with a smooth 4Hz sweep, 70-hour power reserve, and COSC-certification for Chronometer standards of accuracy. Of course the stainless steel bracelet on offer here is in Tudor’s vintage riveted style, but being a new-generation release it’s also fitted with a T-fit clasp, offering eight points of sliding micro-adjustment. If you love the case sizing for its comfort but you’re happy to go for a more modern and casual look, then you can also opt for it on a rubber strap with fitted steel end links.
The Tudor Black Bay 54 pricing and availability:
|Model||Black Bay 54|
|Case Dimensions||37mm (D) x 11.24mm (T) x 46mm (L2L)|
|Case Material||Stainless steel|
|Dial||Black and gilt|
|Strap||Steel bracelet or black rubber with steel fitted end links|
|Power Reserve||70 hours|
|Price||AU$5,140 (Rubber strap) AU$5,440 (Bracelet)|